politics

A lookback on 2015: may you live in interesting times

They say the Chinese have a curse: may you live in interesting times.  We Sri Lankans have definitely been cursed by the Chinese. This isn’t just a pun on the Port City: In the space of one year we, as a nation, have toppled a dictatorship, installed another one, cried out against Saudi Arabia and argued passionately the subject of bras being thrown at concerts. We’ve watched from afar as… Read More »A lookback on 2015: may you live in interesting times

Universities and Student Protests: Too Much Blood

Sri Lanka has a lot of protests, most of them conducted by local universities. We protest everything – governments,  private education, scholarships, private education, private education… you get the picture. It seems that every other month there’s a couple of metal barricades and one of them water cannon machines rolling up the road. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of being caught up in a couple of these, and the level… Read More »Universities and Student Protests: Too Much Blood

Handbags And Massive Losses: Everything Wrong With The Railway

I take the train to work. Like a lot of people, I wake up every morning and cast a bleary eye on the clock. There’s a train at 8:10. Good. I can reach the station at 7:50 AM, enough time to buy a ticket and realize that there’s nowhere for me to sit. All is normal. Sri Lankan trains are divided into “Express” and “Slow” variants. The difference is that… Read More »Handbags And Massive Losses: Everything Wrong With The Railway

Mapping Election Influence On Social Media: Part Two – Facebook

A couple of days ago, I was analyzing who the biggest political influencers on Twitter were. The numbers were small, because despite the number of selfies generated by the average TweetUpSL, Twitter in Sri Lanka is still a small circle. It’s Facebook that reigns supreme for now, so let’s get on the Zuckertrain. Warning: you’re in for a spreadsheet. Friendly graphics appear after the spreadsheet.  Before we begin, let me declare that I, Yudhanjaya… Read More »Mapping Election Influence On Social Media: Part Two – Facebook

Mapping Election Influence On Social Media: Part One – Twitter

This is the Twitter universe of the elections. Every star is a tweep; every line is a tweet, retweet or a mention. Beautiful, isn’t it? This is a visual representation of a week’s worth of Twitter conversations from #GenElecSL and #SLGE15, the two most popular hashtags related to the 2015 General Election. I’ve set about mapping influencers on social media – and the first part of the map is Twitter: the… Read More »Mapping Election Influence On Social Media: Part One – Twitter